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Overall Rating
4.11

Awesome: 34.09%
Worth A Look49.24%
Average: 12.88%
Pretty Bad: 0.76%
Total Crap: 3.03%

11 reviews, 66 user ratings


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Best in Show
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by Filmnet

"Not a total dog."
3 stars

This film pretends (not very hard) to be a documentary about show dogs. Shot on locations in Vancouver and LA, it is dog-lover, writer, director Christopher Guest's attempt to repeat the success of the rock-mockumentary, 'This is Spinal Tap,' that he had a hand in.

We meet five dog-family units and follow them as they converge on a major dog show. We observe the shenanigans at the hotel, watch the final dog-judging and then visit the contestant families six months later.

Filmed in 16mm colour, the opening scenes of 'Best in Show' consist of the obligatory bumpy, hand-held shots and out of focus images which seem to be trying to say 'doco.' Any illusion attempted to be created by this though, is seriously undercut by the subject onscreen being (orthodontic disguise notwithstanding) the well-known movie-star, Parker Posey ('Amateur', 'The Daytrippers'). As half of the yuppy Weimaraner-owning couple, Posey's stand-out performance is both the best thing in this show and for that reason, one of its conceptual flaws.

With a stereotyped raving queen, a lesbian, a gold-digging sex-bomb, a sugar-daddy, sledge-hammer sexual innuendo and a running joke about one woman's sexual profligacy, it's all highly un-PC (or is this now the new PC?). There's been a lot expected of this essentially B-grade cast and as one actor has since said of Guest, "At any moment in my improvising he could be coming up with funnier ideas and better ideas but he just lets me go." Most of the cast previously appeared in Guest's 'Waiting for Guffman' including Fred Willard (who does a good job here as the generic sports commentator doing his first dog show) and also co-writer Eugene Levy (who plays a guy with two left feet. Levy contributes some terrierble songs too). Guest, as Harlan, makes some good moments mostly by submitting his face to a slobbering bloodhound.

'Mock-umentary' has become a rich genre with superb comedies like 'The Rutles', 'This is Spinal Tap' and 'Drop Dead Gorgeous' and dramas like the sublime 'Hard Core Logo' and the ridiculous 'Blair Witch Project'. Unfortunately, in being a competition-based entertainment, like so many sports films, the structure of 'Best in Show' is so unsurprising, you could almost carve it.

I hate to bitch and this film's not a complete dog but it is a paw attempt compared to the superb 'This is Spinal Tap.' Although everyone else who saw it with me (all dog-lovers) enjoyed it more than I did, it is undeniably laboured. How many times can the pronunciation of 'Shih Tzu' be funny? Although I laughed quite frequently, I was never 'inside' this film and couldn't stop feeling that a real documentary on the subject would be funnier.--Andrew Bunney

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4475&reviewer=169
originally posted: 04/25/01 06:28:28
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User Comments

11/27/11 joshuaprater1979 Hilarious movie! 5 stars
9/14/10 Philo Skinner (terrier king) Huge laffs 5 stars
5/16/10 tangled just wanted to mention that it was a bloodhound and not a daschund... 5 stars
8/26/09 Agorilla I have watched it so much that it is no longer funny, but I didn't go blind either! 5 stars
6/29/09 budo I know what dog shows are like. HILARIOUS movie! 5 stars
12/28/08 Samantha Pruitt very funny and smart, this was a great movie! 5 stars
9/04/08 Rachel My absolute favorite Christopher Guest. Not for everyone, but a true comedic gem. 5 stars
5/15/08 PAUL SHORTT YOU KEEP WAITING FOR THE FILM TO START. IT NEVER DOES, THOUGH 1 stars
1/30/07 Shari Hilarious - one of my favorite films ever-I show dogs 5 stars
1/14/07 Yoda This is the sort of pretentious nonsense critics praise. 1 stars
5/01/05 Indrid Cold More clever than funny, but still fairly entertaining. 4 stars
2/23/05 Ayla Hapiak It is very bad. If you want us to enjoy a movie please make it more teenagers movies. 1 stars
1/11/05 Mary Schneider This movie, though not nearly as funny as Waitning for Guffman, is laugh out loud hilarious 5 stars
4/27/04 yaser i have seevthis film now 1 stars
1/23/04 Chloe Brody Get her busy-bee!!! 5 stars
11/04/03 R.W. Welch Semi-improv send-up has a unique comic flavor. Willard is a screech. 4 stars
8/09/03 Will Green 'tis a very good film, one I'd reccommend to anyone. If you don't like it, go fuck your dog 4 stars
7/29/03 cohese A truly fun movie. great. 5 stars
7/15/03 Toria This is the funniest movie I've ever seen. I show dogs and this is so true! 5 stars
6/21/03 John Aster Habig this film brings the underestimated genre of mockumentary to new heights great cast 5 stars
6/08/03 earl hoffert my god, fred willard 5 stars
6/01/03 Jack Bourbon Fred Willard: you sir, made me piss my pants! 5 stars
4/25/03 mr. Pink Really great and fun-tastic!! Great perfs and big laughs!! 5 stars
2/01/03 y2mckay Thank god these wackos have dogs, not kids. Hilarious! 4 stars
12/26/02 Charles Tatum Funnier than Waiting for Guffman 5 stars
12/19/02 Adam Parker Posey steals this movie 5 stars
11/22/02 Denise Great flick! I laughed my ass off!!! 5 stars
7/04/02 KMG Parker Posey's character and the husband were SOOOO fucking in need of a reaming 3 stars
6/24/02 blake paker posey did great in this movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
5/29/02 Gary A lot of funny elements, but the mockumentary style kills it. 3 stars
2/23/02 LyonHeart Now THIS is a date movie. See it with your dog. Make it a double with My Dog Skip.... 4 stars
2/19/02 Bart Shore Brilliant. If you own a dog, you must see this. 5 stars
1/24/02 Andrew Carden It's Worth A Look Just For The Puppies. 4 stars
1/13/02 Phil M. Afficianado Just about a perfect satire/comedy; was in hysterics in places; the ending rocks 5 stars
12/05/01 Skip Young As good if not better than Guffman. Okay, no Spinal Tap, but one of the greatest comedies. 5 stars
9/05/01 malcolm very good -- not as funny as "Guffman" though 4 stars
8/28/01 That Guy I was rolling through the whole thing. 4 stars
7/06/01 SeStA FUNNY FUNNY FUNNY!!!!! This movie is one of the best comedies of all time.Cool dogumentary! 5 stars
5/30/01 Dan Radu Well done. Almost as good as The Tap. 4 stars
5/25/01 Hi-fuckin-larious The name says it all. 5 stars
4/26/01 Brian the "Spinal Tap" of dog shows. More consistent laughs than "Guffman" 4 stars
4/21/01 viking The funniest dog movie I've seen !!! 4 stars
4/11/01 J.Arcane More curling the side of your lips than laugh-out-loud. 3 stars
3/09/01 gmh Film drags a bit until Fred Willard appears 3 stars
3/04/01 Suzz unfunny and dull 2 stars
2/23/01 Scott It's no "Waiting for Guffman" but it is still fun to see the cast together again. 4 stars
2/13/01 Jake This film certainly had its shining moments. 4 stars
1/31/01 Monday Morning Lotsa yocks. Every character had some laugh-out-loud moments. 4 stars
1/18/01 Bub Pretty damn funny! 4 stars
1/12/01 Matt69 Fred Wilard is a fucking riot, and Harlan Pepper's bloodhound fucking rocks. 4 stars
12/04/00 Izzy This is one of the funniest movie that has passed my eyes...I have to see this movie again! 5 stars
11/22/00 Harlan peanut, brazil nut, macadamia nut, red pistachio nut... 5 stars
11/22/00 Elvisfan It was all right, no big deal, not much that was really memorable 3 stars
11/18/00 Mr. X Characters are believable and real without being caricatures. 4 stars
11/16/00 Sylvia Simon Very funny - Parker Posey is a hoot! If you liked "Waiting for Guffman", you'll like it. 4 stars
11/12/00 kramer Very funny with very bizarre characters 4 stars
11/10/00 Heather It's a light, fun movie with great characters 5 stars
11/05/00 Blubberbot I will see every movie Guest makes. 5 stars
11/03/00 Katsat Great characterization, funny, believable, sympathetic, original. Consistently entertaining 5 stars
10/26/00 bullit17 It's not Guffman, but it's still a darned good movie and a fun time 4 stars
10/23/00 natasha would have been even better if Corky had shown up 4 stars
10/16/00 monumentl it's no Waiting For Guffman, but taken on its' own terms, pretty damn funny 4 stars
10/15/00 gilcarlson hysterical picture, Guest is brilliant 4 stars
10/07/00 matthew it was so funny I wet myself and chewed up my master slippers in glee 5 stars
10/04/00 frank the funniest movie i've seen since BATTLEFIELD EARTH 5 stars
10/04/00 Barron Classic on soooo many levels 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  13-Oct-2000 (PG-13)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  12-Apr-2001 (M)




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